Review: A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a wonderful yet tough read…

I’ve been trying to review this for a week now…and I cry every single time.

When I first picked up this book, I thought it was going to be a scary story. In a way, it is, but not how I originally imagined it would be. In some ways, it was worse…

Conor is a kid dealing with bullies and teachers at school who barely acknowledge his existence, except for when he’s getting into trouble. At home, life is getting worse. His mom is sick again and the treatments aren’t helping. As if life wasn’t bad enough, he’s started having nightmares.

But are they really nightmares? Or life lessons in disguise?

What I never expected from this story, was a kid who was dealing with the c-word and the possible loss of his mum. I never expected the familial turmoil. I never expected a monster who told such reandom and nonsensical fables that could apply to life.

I never expected to break down and cry…

Which made this one so tough to read. My own personal remembrances of the last days of a parent were brought back to the forefront…almost mirrored in the story. I had to stop reading here and there… because it is still tough…even after the years that has passed.

But that is beside the point. Just saying it is tough to read in that way…

The story was told beautifully and artfully. My edition (which I know there are a few different ones out there) was that one pictured above. The illustrations of black and white and a lot of scribbles added to the story more than detracted from it. They fit so very well and even took on one of the smaller details in the tale making it more forefront in case you missed something.

I’m still sitting here with hope that Conor will wake up from the book, mom well, dad back in his life, and grandmother long gone in her own world. Still with hope things can change.

I rec this book, but seriously be warned…it will make you grab for a box of tissues. (Unless you have a heart of stone and a soul of ice.) I’m weepy just thinking about this story as I type this review…and I’ve been letting it sit for a week so I wouldn’t cry.

Definitely a great tale…MG is where I’d put this on the scale of child to adult books.


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Review: We Can Be Mended

We Can Be Mended
We Can Be Mended by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m not sure I can fairly review this book because I <4!

Seriously, Four can do no wrongs. In my opinion.

So this beautiful little book was the best piece of mail I’ve had in a while. By little, I mean it’s a little longer than a standard 4×6 photo and only 33 pages long. But it’s still very much a large story.

my copy

This story picks up five years after the end of Divergent. There is a reunion in Chicago for the remaining characters Allegiant. Evelyn (Four’s mom) and Caleb (Tris’ brother) are there. Ugh. I still have issues with those two. Johanna and Cara are mentioned and have small appearances. Chris and Shauna’s story is updated.

But this is more about Four still missing Tris and Christina missing Will. And how they’re coping with all of the changes since they became free from the social experiments that the Divergent series told. And they’re doing okay.

And I can’t say anything else because it will SPOIL IT! No how much I want to talk about the…

Anyway, this adorable book is worth a read, especially if you LOVED DIVERGENT as much as I did!!! Loved that book series….



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Review: Horns

Horns by Joe Hill
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved the movie. Liked the book.

Like three and a half stars liked. It’s one of those rare cases where I did like the movie more than the book. And not because Harry Potter was in it… Just sayin’.

So poor Ignatius Parrish…Lost his girlfriend in a murder, his job, is living at home…not to mention the people of the New Hampshire town of Gideon all seem to think he killed her. On top of that, he’s growing these horns…

Like the devil. And these horns have power. People are compelled to tell him deep dark secrets of the rotten things they want to do, then ask for permission to do it. And should Ig touch someone, their whole life’s story flashes in his brain, and Ig then knows every rotten thing they’ve ever done.

Unlike the devil, Ig tries doing the right thing by righting the wrongs he finds. But it seems he cannot be remembered, he cannot change the inner person…just suggest and they obey.

The book went into more details that the movie left out. They weren’t wholly essential to the story, but it was good to finally have a few questions answered. I enjoyed ‘seeing’ the different perspectives of the characters and how they believed and thought. How Ig found the truth about his girlfriend, Merrin. It was as heartbreaking.

Overall, a good read. Not really scary nor nightmare inducing, but more food for thought type of tale. I’m glad to finally have read it though. Definitely worth a read, whether you’ve seen the movie or not.


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Review: Carve the Mark

Carve the Mark
Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book…3.5? 4?

I was back and forth for a while on what I wanted to rate it. In the beginning, I thought…“Ugh, this is a total two.” At the end, I was…“Oh, this is a good four to five…And when is the next book?” My stars are more of a median between the two.

Before I delve into the why of it all, I suggest we get naked. Well, book naked and under the cover. Because this one was amazing!

Under the cover:

The hardback cover was debossed with a solar map of the story’s planets in their little solar system. It’s just so unique and old-timey. A very nice cover.

full cover


The end pages:
Usually means the inside cover, which in this case is a plain navy. I’m using the term to describe the first and last printed pages.

In the front of the book, there is a printed map of the same solar system. Planets labeled and other wonders. Very old world map. Beautiful as well as helpful along the way.

printed map

In the very end of the book, which I wish I knew it before I got to the end of the book, is a very helpful glossary listing some of the terms and words used…in case you missed it or didn’t fully understand.


The story:

So, there are two sides to every story, and this one is no different.

First, Akos. His story is written in third person and takes the events and goings on in his life and puts it out there in his eyes. His family, his home planet…the kidnapping of members of his family by their Shotet enemy…

Second, Cyra. Her story is written in first person, through which we get a clear picture of Shotet life for her and her brother, Ryzek. We also get to grow up with her and her Thuvhesit slave for lack of a better word to describe Akos in the beginning.

That’s where part of the disconnect was for me. And I know I’ve complained before about the flip between third person and first in a book. Sometimes, it works. This, sadly, was part of the problem for me. I’d get to Akos’ part of the story, and I felt suddenly distant and outside of the story, where Cyra’s parts brought me in and made it feel like an intimate tale. I really wish Akos’ part was in first person. I’d have been able to follow along beautifully.

The second part of feeling so disconnected from the story was in the tremendous learning curve that typically goes along with stories of this genre. I had to learn about hushflowers and feathergrass and planets and peoples of the planets and izits and just learn and learn and learn.

But, once I got the gist of the story and its elements, it really shined!!! And I couldn’t stop reading to find out what the heck was going to happen next. All starting with a war between the Shotet and Thuvhesit…stemming from prophesies of what could be and fates of what will be and what one’s current gift is, as everyone in their system is blessed…or cursed…with a current gift, that one talent that makes you special form everyone else. Cyra’s was the ability to give and receive pain. Akos’ was the inability for current gifts to have any impact on him. It made for an interesting twist.


Carve The Mark
is actually a ritual performed in the book. When a Shotet kills someone, they must mark their body by carving a line into their arm and dabbing some potion into it so a scar is left behind. Something that would make a warrior proud to show off his kills, while others hide them in shame for the wrongs they’ve done. It was a beautiful metaphor touched on time and time again in this story.

This tale was sort of like a Hunger Games meets Star Wars meets Divergent meets Predator sort of tale. Strong characters who believe they’re doing it for the best, whether they see the reality of it or not. A love story co-mingling among the wars and hateful thoughts between nations and peoples–sort of a reality bites dose there.

I always say whether I’d rec this book. Honestly, I would, but with a caveat or two I’ve already mentioned here. I am looking forward to book two. VERY much so. Though this story closed nicely, there are still WAY TOO MANY QUESTIONS left to be answered. It’s so stressful!


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Reading Theme ~ February 2017.

Valentine’s Day would lead one to think romance. Superbowl would bring forth football imagery. President’s Day…thriller-type stories?

That’s okay. While I do have quite the few Football Romances on my TBR lists, that’s not where I wanted to take this one. Too obvious and really not what I like to do for my themes. Sort of. What I wanted to try and read this month was something out of my ordinary. Horror/Thrillers seem to be lacking from my lists en masse, though I used to read Stephen King and Dean Koontz all the time. This month, though, i am going to try and brave my way through a few books.

The books I have on my list for this month:
(if I am brave enough to tackle them all ~ #ScaredyCat):

When A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Heart-shaped Box by Joe Hill

Horns by Joe Hill

I saw this movie and loved it. I heard the book was more creepy, so I’m going for it.

Also own both on Kindle, so no stopping to read because of it being night. Unless… *shivers*

Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer

Ink and Bone.

And if things get too intense or I actually read these all, I might just open:

Denton Little’s Deathdate

We’ll see how far I get, being that this month is short…and it’s not light enough to read stories of this type, IMO.
“Because I will turn on all the lights in my house.” ~#ScaredyCat
(aka me.)

This month’s reading theme:

February 2017 ~ My Bloody Valentine.


all gifs found on and belong to their makers.

All images are mine, either taken with my phone or screencapped from my Kindle app.

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